What is Aesthetic Composite Bonding (Dental Bonding)?
Composite bonding is a minimally invasive procedure in which a tooth colored material is placed, bonded and hardened with an LED light. A person should take into consideration the existing color of their teeth prior to this procedure as the bonding, once cured or hardened, will not change color. Teeth whitening is always an option to consider prior to any aesthetic procedure. Composite bonding can enhance a smile in many different ways including, closing spaces, correcting uneven or chipped edges, the shape or angulation of a tooth, or enamel imperfections such as hyper white areas or dark areas. Your doctor has special composite materials in all different shades to match any tooth color, and when layered and sculpted can achieve a seamless, natural looking finished restoration.
What does the procedure entail?
First the doctor will condition the existing enamel of the teeth etching agent in a controlled environment. This means the patient’s mouth must stay open as saliva will contaminate the bonding procedure. Then a dental primer and bond are applied and light cured. The doctor will then start the application of the composite materials. Much of aesthetic composite bonding is free-hand placement of the materials and requires a specific attention to detail and a great deal of skill. Often patients will not require anesthesia or down time afterwards as preparations are minimal or considered non-invasive. Once the composite material is hardened your doctor will start sculpting the desired shape, check your occlusion or bite, and finish with a high shine polish.
What are the advantages?
Depending on the individual and recommendations from your doctor, composite bonding can improve small imperfections such as hyper white areas or dark areas within the existing enamel, close spaces, correct uneven or chipped edges, or correct the shape or angulation of a tooth. As most aesthetic bonding is additive, patients will often not need anesthesia or experience discomfort at all nor need to sacrifice healthy tooth enamel as the doctor only roughens the surface prior to bonding instead of taking healthy enamel away! If you are looking for an immediate result, bonding is for you as this procedure is completed in just one visit. Compared to porcelain veneers for porcelain crowns, bonding only takes one trip and is less costly. Feeling free to smile once your bonding is placed is always the most rewarding benefit!!
What are the disadvantages?
Aesthetic composite bonding will typically last 5-7 years on average and is individually based. Porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns could last 10-15 years and is also individually based. How you care for your mouth daily and any staining habits you may have, such as smoking or consuming dark liquids on a daily basis, will affect the life expectancy of your bonding as the material will thin over a long period of time and collect stain around the edges. Some individuals will require “touching up” of the bonding more often than others. Depending on where your bonding is placed, you may need to be careful with eating and certainly will not want to use your teeth as a tool to open packages ect…
Who is a candidate for this service?
A clinical oral examination and conversation with your doctor will help you determine if you are a good candidate for aesthetic composite bonding.
Typically, there is no downtime with bonding and because anesthesia is rarely used you will be able to speak, eat, and smile right away! Your appointment time and cost of your bonding will vary as you need to take into consideration the amount of bonding needed, how many surfaces per tooth will be bonded, and how many teeth your doctor will treat. Typically, aesthetic composite bonding is considered a cosmetic procedure and will not be covered by insurance, however, in some circumstances there could be coverage. A conversation with an administrative insurance specialist will determine if your specific procedure will be covered by your insurance.
Need More Info?
If you need more information about Dental Bonding, or want to schedule an appointment